Victim in Trump SoHo Tower accident ID'd

Stop work order issued site
January 15, 2008 3:43:01 PM PST
Police have released the name of the construction worker who was killed when a floor collapsed at a building under construction in SoHo. Authorities say the victim is Yurly Vanchytsky, of Brooklyn. He fell 42 stories, when he was knocked over by a wooden form used to set concrete collapsed as it was being moved by a crane.

New York City's Buildings Department has issued an order to stop work at the hotel-condominium building which is being developed by Donald Trump. Police say the worker fell to his death and three other people were injured.

Buildings inspectors also issued at least four violations against the site's general contractor, Bovis Lend Lease.

The department said the Trump tower workers were using a crane while pouring concrete into forms atop the 42-story building when one or more of the forms collapsed onto the 40th floor.

A Bovis spokeswoman said the company is conducting an investigation with the concrete subcontractor. The planned Trump SoHo Hotel Condominium is scheduled to open in 2009.

Investigators spent hours Tuesday morning examining the wreckage and interview workers and their foreman.

Even as sirens wailed yesterday and rescue vehicles rushed to the tower, construction workers were being warned by their supervisors to say nothing.

Eyewitness News: "Did you see something fall?"
Construction worker: "I didn't see anything."

But one worker did admit that working at a construction site is dangerous work.

"All construction sites is dangerous, there's no construction site that's not dangerous, honestly," the worker told Eyewitness News.

Vanchytsky was swept outward when the incident occurred, beyond a safety net and down to the street. Another man fell into the net.

"It's called a black net, the black safety net," one worker said. "It's a very good thing. It came in handy today because one of our guys is safe."

Officials say Bovis Lend Lease is the same company formerly in charge of the dismantling of the Deutsche Bank building near Ground Zero. That tower caught fire last summer, killing two firefighters in an incident now under criminal investigation.

The Department of Buildings has cited Bovis Lend Lease, as well as the Difama Concrete Company, nine times in the past year.

Both companies were cited last November at the Trump site for operation of a crane in an unsafe manner.

The Trump SoHo Tower has been a thorn in the side of community activists, but Trump has bragged in the past about buyers lining up for its 400 apartments.

"I want to thank the protestors outside for helping to make this job so successful," Donald Trump said last year.